USA: IRS Must Decide How to Handle Married Couples in Non Marriage Equality States

Written by scott on July 7th, 2013

IRS_logoNow that the US Supreme Court has ruled that married gay and lesbian couples should be treated the same as straight ones, the devil is in the details for the IRS. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports:

The IRS’s major decision comes for residents of the other 37 states. Will it rely, as it has in some previous cases, on states’ own definitions of marriage? Or will it set a nationwide definition requiring all same-sex married couples to file as married taxpayers? What will happen to couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships? “The court’s decision, for a decision of this magnitude, is relatively short,” Joanne Youn, a member in the employee benefits practice at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, told Bloomberg BNA. The justices refer to more than 1,000 federal laws pertaining to marriages and “they don’t go into details.” A single nationwide rule would make the most sense, said Patricia Cain, a tax-law professor at Santa Clara University in California. Without it, taxpayers could find ways to game the system, establishing a temporary domicile in whatever state fit their tax needs that year.

And all of this has to happen while the IRS is under extreme scrutiny after the fake scandal over heightened scrutiny for conservative groups (which turned out to be heightened scrutiny for groups across the political spectrum, and run by a conservative, to boot).

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